Paternity Leave Increasing to 6 Months
The Government has published its plans to allow fathers to take up to 6 months paternity leave. Legislation is due to be in force from 6 April 2010, with effect for parents of babies due from 3 April 2011.
- up to 6 months of paternity leave for eligible fathers;
- procedure will rely on self-certification, but employers may look into claims where doubts are held;
- Government estimates are that 4-8% of eligible fathers will apply;
- notice required to take leave will be 6 weeks;
- the procedure will rely on self-certification, but employers may request further information where there is doubt about the claim;
- the procedures will apply from 3 April 2011.
The Additional Paternity Leave and Pay (APL&P) will enable fathers to take up to 26 weeks paternity leave in addition to the two weeks currently available when a child is born: parents will be able to use the new right to transfer leave between them, both for the final three months of paid maternity leave (while maternity leave is currently only paid for 9 months, the Government maintains a goal to extend Statutory Maternity Pay to 52 weeks), and for three months of unpaid leave.
While recognising that the introduction of APL&P will impact on businesses, the Government considers the administration of the scheme has been designed to be as ‘light-touch’ as possible to minimise the burden placed upon businesses. Small businesses will be able to claim back 104.5% of Additional Statutory Paternity Pay (ASPP) payments made, with larger employers able to claim 92%.